NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — Virginia's Attorney General Mark R. Herring hosted a roundtable discussion on hate crimes and white supremacist violence in Norfolk on Thursday.

Herring joined community members and faith leaders to discuss his legislation at the Tidewater Islamic Center. The discussion included the different ways communities are impacted by and responding to the rise in hate crimes and white supremacist violence.

Virginia legislators were also invited to participate in the discussions and hear about the experiences of people in their communities.

Herring announced he would be hosting roundtable discussions when he introduced his hate crimes and white supremacist violence legislative package in November.

According to Herring's legislation, hate crime have been on the rise in Virginia. In 2013, there were 123 hate crimes. In 2017, the Virginia State Police reported 202 hate crimes.

During 2017, those hate crimes included 38 racially-motivated assaults, 44 racially-motivated acts of vandalism/property destruction, and 32 acts of religious-motivated vandalism/property destruction.

Last year, Attorney General Herring had two bills in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville to combat white supremacist gangs and militias that commit acts of violence and intimidation.

This was his fifth discussion on the topic throughout the Commonwealth, his sixth and final roundtable discussion will be in Roanoke on December 19.

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